Fact 1: Technology is constantly changing.
Fact 2: It can feel almost futile and overwhelming to try to keep up with it.
Fact 3: Keeping up with, and implementing new technology is an important factor for your business.
So what’s a small business owner to do on this never-ending technology hamster wheel?
Well, I’ll tell you. There are a number of ways to easily track emerging and changing trends in technology with minimum effort.
1. Set Up Google Alerts
Google Alerts allow you to receive emails when new results for a topic show up in Google Search.
Hopefully, you have some set up already for your name, your business name, and other business-related terms.
Now add some additional ones to supplement the technology-related aspects that you’re interested in, and/or might impact your business.
One topic that’s been very hot lately is blockchain technology. Initially created for cryptocurrency provider Bitcoin, it’s now being applied to a variety of other uses that could greatly benefit small businesses.
2. Read Every Day
So simple, yet so difficult. And this doesn’t mean you should spend this time going through tech-only articles. Entrepreneur profiles and other article subjects are rife with peripheral information that you should also be paying attention to.
For example, an article about photo sharing site Flickr and it’s founder Daniel Stewart Butterfield could lead you to discover his other endeavor, Slack. Slack is a cloud-based set of simplified team collaboration tools and services that’s been changing the way employees communicate within many companies.
3. Follow Influencers On Social Media
We're all on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter all day, every day. Why not use your personal feed to your business advantage even further too?
Try setting up a custom list on Twitter. It’s a quick way to help you easily find the news you need or want to keep up with.
Also, watching what industry-insiders are doing in their spare time is an amazing way to see what could be coming next.
Things like ‘Initial Coin Offerings’ and AI seem like moonshots, but the smartest people I know work on those subjects in their free time. That makes me confident that some big businesses will emerge in these areas,” says Philip Thomas, co-founder and engineer at Moonlight, a project-based hiring platform for technology teams.
By paying attention to what gets the pros and developers psyched, you’ll know where and when to look for that next big thing too.
Those are three easy ways to keep up with emerging technology trends as a busy small business owner.
Now before we wrap up, here's one important caveat: While following trends is smart, be aware of falling for passing fads. Stay focused on your business’s objectives and customers’ needs when it comes to deciding on whether or not to implement the latest in tech.